Black History Month

Black Americans Making History Every Day

Woman working on a drawing board

Breaking Down Barriers

The American Heart Association is committed to breaking down barriers to health equity that result from structural racism.

We believe that “One is too many” when it comes to any person who is affected by the devastation of racism. During February, we recognize the legacy of Black Americans who laid the foundation for the activists, health care professionals , social entrepreneurs and everyday heroes — and celebrate Black Americans who are making history every day We strive to engage in a national dialogue about our commitments to addressing structural racism and health inequities.

Our 10 commitments include:

  • Investing in community-led solutions to address health inequities and structural racism; and
  • Investing in careers of diverse investigators and health inequity research funding.

Throughout February we will highlight the communities, small businesses, social entrepreneurs and innovators who are continuing to build a legacy of positive change through our business accelerator and scholarship program.

Black History Month Virtual Events

EmPOWERED Voices leading the way

Black History Month Fireside Chat: Black Americans Making History Everyday
Presented by the American Heart Association employee resource group Heart and Soul, the inspirational one-hour live discussion featured panelists Ebony Smith, a.k.a ‘The Ghetto Guru’, founder of Yoga N Da Hood, Andrew Suggs, CEO Live Chair Health and Sherman Wright, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Ten35.

Pamela Garmon Johnson, AHA vice president of Health Equity and National Partnership, and Heart and Soul president Kenza Martin hosted the event that celebrates the achievements of Black Americans.
EmPOWERED Black Women and Well-Being Roundtable: This virtual experience is the first in a collaborative series between EmPOWERED to Serve™ and Go Red for Women. Amy Dubois Barnett, senior vice president and general manager of digital for BET, moderated, and Sorority Presidents from the Divine Nine (D9) and The Links, Incorporated led the discussion.

The conversation explored health equity and how the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccines relate to the heart health of Black women — because we know one life lost due to heart disease is one too many.

Black Americans Making History Every Day Video Series

Watch, celebrate and be inspired by Black Americans from all walks of life who are working every day to create a positive impact on communities around the country.

Black Americans Making History Every Day Video Series


Black Americans Making History Every Day Video Series


Black Americans Making History Everyday Video Series


Capital Access and Investment Funds

Supporting communities, small businesses, social entrepreneurs, and innovators.

Investing in Community-Led Solutions

While significant advances have been made in treating and preventing cardiovascular disease, not all economic, racial and ethnic groups benefit equally. The American Heart Association's social investment funds fuel local efforts through grants and low-interest loans to qualified social entrepreneurs and nonprofits.

We encourage Black-owned businesses that address sustainable, community-driven solutions to improving healthy food access, equitable housing, recidivism, economic empowerment and educational opportunities to apply.

Resources are available through two funds:

Man holding a poverty is deadly sign

The EmPOWERED to Serve™ Business Accelerator

The EmPOWERED to Serve Business Accelerator is designed to increase the flow of capital to social entrepreneurs and grow a network of social change agents addressing the social determinants of health. We encourage Black social entrepreneurs who want to be catalysts for strong, healthy and equitable communities to apply to refine their business skills, compete for capital and continue Making History Every Day.

EmPOWERED to Serve™ Scholars

The EmPOWERED to Serve Scholar  program supports college freshmen, sophomores and juniors who are working to improve health equity and social justice in their communities. Past scholars include a health policy and management student who encouraged corner groceries to sell fresh, healthy foods; and a biochemistry student who taught diabetes courses at a community health clinic. 
They are great examples of Black Americans Making History Every Day

Sign Up to learn how we’re making a difference.

Learn more. Because every person deserves the opportunity for a full, healthy life

Committing to equity and a full, healthy life for everyone

The American Heart Association is investing over $230 million in a sweeping effort to ensure equitable health for all. Through research, community solutions and other substantial work, the AHA is addressing barriers to health equity including structural racism, social factors that hurt people’s health and threats to rural health.

Patient and doctor talking
Moblie Farmers Market

Be an Agent of Change

The American Heart Association needs ambassadors with creative, generous mindsets and leadership skills to help raise awareness about heart disease, stroke and the importance of a healthy lifestyle. We’re making progress, but still have much to do. Millions of people live without access to the most basic needs for a healthy life.

If you’re an activist, community leader, health care professional, young professional or social entrepreneur who’s helping lead the way through community-centered and culturally relevant solutions, we invite you to become an EmPOWERED to Serve Ambassador.